Synopses & Reviews
Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, a girl uncovers her family's history of mental illness in this moving coming-of-age tale that harkens to both The Glass Castle and Forrest Gump.Tallulah James comes from a long line of intelligent college professors with strong Southern roots-and long-buried family secrets. Tallulah's childhood is a tumultuous one: Her mother is often absent as she puts her goals to save the world over her family. Her father's ignored bipolar disorder results in bouts of depression and manic behavior that often leave Tallulah afraid and confused. But with her older brother Grif to watch out for her and her grandmother to make sure she grows up into a proper Southern lady-whatever that means-her life is stable enough; that is, until a tragedy rocks her entire community.Forced to move away from everyone she knows and loves at the age of sixteen, Tallulah lives on her own for seven years before returning to the Mississippi town where it all began. As she begins to uncover her family history and to forgive them for the past, she finally learns the truth that has been hidden from her for so long.In this heart-wrenching, raw, and ultimately satisfying novel set against the backdrop of the 1960s, the award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard explores what the word family really means-in all its ugliness, beauty, and messy complications.